“A strategy is all about designing an operation that will consistently deliver the superior client benefits you claim to provide.” David Maister, author of “Strategy and the Fat Smoker”.
I think one of the areas that businesses miscalculate in social media is not knowing what they want to happen in the first place.
“Every one else is starting a blog, so why not?” – sound familiar?
The problem with that approach is that there is no plan and as they say, “Failing to plan is planning to fail.” Any business strategy must establish a tangible or measurable outcome before the heavy lifting begins.
So first things first:
Figure Out Your Objective
The most effective strategy is the one that starts with understanding what you want to accomplish.
Is the purpose of your social strategy to attract new clients or to retain old ones? If your goal is to attract new clients then you will want to promote yourself by:
- creating blog content that is compelling, valuable, relevant and consistent;
- sending promotional tweets about your blog, product, or service;
- creating a Facebook page to introduce yourself to your target audience;
- commenting on other people’s blogs.
If your goal is to retain existing customers, then you will want to be a resource to help them solve their problems. You will do this by:
- Creating a ‘listening’ platform – create Google alerts for key words that signify pain points that your brand is able to solve; follow your customers on Twitter and use Hootsuite to listen to what they’re saying.
- Send non-promotional tweets with links to resources that can help to solve your customers’ problems.
- Use your Facebook page to answer questions, run contests, and provide useful information.
The idea is to invest in a strategy that is compatible with your objectives.
What Do Your Customers Want
Ideally you want what your customers want.
Keep in mind that the purpose of any business strategy is to deliver a benefit to your customers. Therefore it’s important to figure out exactly who your target customers are, to understand what their needs are and to establish what kind of social networks they currently use.
Developing a strategy doesn’t have to be complicated.
It’s simply understanding what you’re doing, why you’re doing it and what outcome you want to achieve.
Social media becomes complicated when marketers abandon simple initial steps in favor of the ‘Just Do It’ approach. Thinking through your ultimate objectives may appear simplistic, but it works.